Saturday, January 22, 2011

Haters Gonna Hate

Everyone knows that the internet is the rudest place on earth.  Anyone can say anything to anyone while remaining unidentified (and often spineless).  So, January's award for fighting anonymous jerkdom goes to Adam Sliwinski of So Percussion.  When one of my go-to blogs for music (ok, mostly for free metal downloads), Brooklyn Vegan, posted a somewhat misinformed but honest review of So's recent concert/collaboration with Dan Deacon at Merkin Hall as a part of the ongoing Ecstatic Music festival things got a little dumb in the comments section.  And by a little dumb, I mean Youtube level.  Adam responded in the comments thread with a well reasoned (and well written) rebuttal to the covert assailants.  At first I thought "oh no dude, don't even dignify these clowns with a response," but shortly thereafter the comments became suddenly civil and thoughtful.  Well, mostly.  
So, good on you, Adam!  I think we can all agree that if you're going to talk shit, say it to our collective faces.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

winter preview...

As this particularly snowy winter drags on, here's a couple of fun things to look forward to.

The Gershwin Presents 
Gershwin Hotel: Thursday, January 20th @8pm

This show features a set of acoustic and electro-acoustic solo percussion music as part of a new and exciting concert series by the Gershwin Hotel and curated by Vicky Chow.

The program will include:

The Anvil Chorus by David Lang
Composed in 1991 for God of Percussion on Earth Steven Schick, this demanding piece invokes the sounds of many blacksmiths working at a single anvil and the resulting rhythmic (and melodic!) patterns inherent in their trade.

A Watched Pot by Steven Snowden
Scored for a tea kettle, mixing bowls, and electronics, A Watched Pot explores the sonic possibilities of some everyday objects.  Coupled with a complex electronic counterpart, these repurposed kitchenwares set the stage for a dream within the mundane.

Ritual by Daniel Wohl
Ritual, for solo vibraphone, stands as a refuge of quiet and serenity in a noisy, dense world populated with noisier, denser percussion music.

Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra by Alvin Lucier
In this work of near stasis, the oft underestimated triangle is given a chance to show off its full timbral spectrum.  Aided by amplification, the instrument's resonance and overtones are slowly manipulated over time brushing the border between music and sound art.

Temazcal by Javier Alvarez
The title is an Aztec word for "water that burns" and this piece for solo maracas and electronics takes the folkloric Joropo traditions of Venezuela on a dark and twisted ride.

Momentary Expanse by Tristan Perich
Local composer, visual artist, and gadgetrist Tristan Perich is at the height of his powers following the release of his acclaimed 1-Bit Symphony.  Where his symphony is highly active and incessant, Momentary Expanse utilizes the same technology paired with a vibraphone to create a feeling of openness and suspension of time.

The cost is $10, and $5 for students.
map here.



Tune-in Music Festival: Inuksuit 
Park Avenue Armory: Sunday, Feb. 20@ 4pm


The Tune-in Music Festival is curated by eighth blackbird.  This is reason enough for discerning music fans to take note, but more details are in order!  The festival runs from February 16th-20th and includes performances by new music luminaries eighth blackbird, red fish blue fish, Steve Schick, Newspeak, Sympho, Argento Chamber Orchestra, among others.  The festival closes with a performance of John Luther Adams' hour-plus long Inuksuit for 9 to 99 percussionists.  Last Spring, I had the opportunity to perform this piece with a full complement of 99 drummers dispersed throughout the central Texas woods of Round Top'sFestival Hill.  It was wild, there are videos.
For the New York premiere, the vault of the sky will be replaced with the soaring ceiling of the Park Avenue Armory and its 38,000 square feet will be filled with 72 musicians and their drums, gongs, horns, conch shells, toy pianos, etc.
Big thanks to Doug Perkins who organized both the TX and upcoming NY performances of this massive-scale work.